Breast Cancer: Ductal Carcinoma in SITU (DCIS)

Posted Friday, November 13, 2015

Did You Know? There are reportedly 60,000 cases of DCIS in the U.S. each year.

DCIS is the Most Common Kind of Breast Cancer

DCIS affects an estimated sixty thousand people each year in the United States. The number of reported DCIS cases are on the rise, which can be attributed to a few factors.  The amount of individuals getting mammograms has increased and so has early detection.  Also, people are living longer, thus increasing the span of time in which cancer can develop.   

This guide is intended to help educate patients on what DCIS is, what the signs and symptoms of DCIS are and the common types of treatment.   

01 | What is DCIS?

DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma in Situ), are abnormal cells located only in the lining area of the breast (milk) ducts; hence the term “in situ”, meaning “in place”.  DCIS is also commonly described as “pre-invasive” or “pre-cancerous”. DCIS is non-invasive due to this being the earliest stage of cancer (stage 0); however, if left untreated, the risk of the discovered cells turning cancerous is high.   

02| Signs and Symptoms

Most cases of DCIS are found during a mammogram. Generally there would not be any signs and symptoms during this stage. If there are any, it could include the following:   

  • Breast lump
  • Nipple discharge containing blood
  • Pain in the nipple area
  • Redness or flaky skin in the nipple

03| Risk Factors

The cause of abnormal cell growth is currently unknown. There are a number of risk factors to be may increase your chances of DCIS including:  

  • Family medical history
  • Obesity
  • Age
  • Genetics
  • Hormone replacements

04| Treatment

Most DCIS patients are candidates for breast-conserving surgery.  However, treatment for DCIS varies on a case by case basis. Common treatment types include:  

  • Breast – conserving surgery (lumpectomy)
  • Breast - removing (mastectomy) with radiation therapy
  • Breast - removing (mastectomy) without radiation therapy

For additional resources and information on Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (DCIS) speak to your medical provider and visit:  

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